GE2020: Day 7 on the campaign trail :

SINGAPORE: It is the week of the General Election and more walkabouts are expected, although online rallies will continue due to the threat of COVID-19.

Progress Singapore Party chief Tan Cheng Bock said during a walkabout in Bukit Gombak that the Non-Constituency Member of Parliament scheme is a good training ground for new politicians but stressed that opposition MPs would be able to represent voters better.

Dr Tan was asked to respond to PAP’s Heng Swee Keat’s comments on how he has now declared that he will not accept an NCMP seat after the General Election despite supporting the scheme in Parliament in 1984 when he was PAP MP for Ayer Rajah SMC.

“Yes, I do support (the NCMP scheme). There’s nothing wrong,” said Dr Tan, adding that the scheme is a “way in” for new politicians who lose in the election.

“But they go in with a proviso and the proviso is you have no ground, no constituency … I think it’s okay for those who want to go into Parliament, learn the workings of Parliament, I support that,” he said.

Dr Tan repeated that he would not accept the NCMP seat if offered, but would offer it to a fellow candidate from his party as “it’s a good training ground”.

However, he told voters not to fall for what he called a “ploy” by the ruling People’s Action Party, as “proper opposition MPs” would be better able to represent the residents.

“(Opposition MPs) are responsible to your residents, more important than going to the House to talk,” he said.

The recent correction directions from the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) Office are a “complete distraction”, said Singapore Democratic Party chairman Paul Tambyah.

The directions, issued on Sunday to four organisations including 24newsreads.com, were in relation to Dr Tambyah’s statements over the outbreak of COVID-19 in foreign worker dormitories.

The veteran candidate said SDP wants to focus on issues that matter to Singaporeans, instead of “arguing about who signed a circular”.

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